October 2, 2023 8:24 pm

Myanmar’s ousted leader receives reduced sentence as junta shows leniency — RT World News

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In a surprising move, Myanmar’s ruling military junta has decided to grant partial clemency to Aung San Suu Kyi, the ousted leader of Myanmar. Suu Kyi, who is considered a ‘democracy icon’ in the West, was overthrown in a military coup in 2021. The reduction of her prison sentence was announced by military officer Aung Lin Dwe on Tuesday. According to state television, Suu Kyi has been pardoned for five offenses, including violating coronavirus restrictions, illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, and sedition. Furthermore, as part of a Buddhist holiday tradition, an additional 7,000 prisoners were also granted clemency.

While this pardon may seem like a positive development, it should be noted that Suu Kyi’s prison sentence is still substantial. With six years deducted from her original 33-year sentence, she will still serve 27 years behind bars. Since her ouster, Suu Kyi has been convicted of multiple counts of corruption and election fraud. For the 78-year-old, this effectively amounts to a life sentence.

Suu Kyi’s troubles began in February 2021 when she was arrested and removed from power by the military in a coup. The military claimed that her electoral victory in November 2020 was fraudulent. They promised to hold new elections this year but on Monday, they extended the state of emergency that was declared after seizing power.

It is worth mentioning that this is not the first time Suu Kyi has been placed under house arrest. In 1990, after her National League for Democracy party won the country’s first election in three decades, she was imprisoned by the military government. She spent 15 out of the following 20 years in detention. Suu Kyi was released and returned to politics in 2010, eventually becoming the state counselor, a position equivalent to prime minister, in 2016.

Despite being celebrated by Western politicians and journalists during her detention and rise to power, Suu Kyi fell out of favor with her former supporters when she presided over a crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar. In 2019, she faced accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice.

The United Nations has been consistently calling on the junta to release all political prisoners and to reinstate democratic rule. It remains to be seen whether this partial clemency for Suu Kyi is a step towards greater political and human rights reforms in Myanmar.

The international community will surely be watching closely to see how Suu Kyi’s case unfolds and whether this move by the military junta signals a shift towards a more democratic and inclusive Myanmar. In the meantime, the plight of the people of Myanmar, who have long endured political instability and human rights abuses, continues.

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Original Source: Myanmar’s ousted leader receives reduced sentence as junta shows leniency — RT World News

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